Incredibly, although the top US safety auto regulator – the NHTSA – ordered Japanese auto safety supplier Takata Corp. to extend a regional safety campaign to nationwide level, the latter continued with its piecemeal approach.
Takata Corp. has been at the heart of a growing auto safety scandal, in which millions of vehicles from ten automakers have been recalled because of the danger of the airbag’s inflator exploding with too much force – sending metal pieces and other debris flying inside the cabin at high velocity. While in the US millions of autos have been recalled, the approach was regional – as only high humidity regions were targeted.
Now, David Friedman, the deputy administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has no possibility to truly justify not resolving to a nationwide recall of the driver-side airbag. The US regulator official cited data that showed the high humidity was a less important factor than initially believed. He added that the NHTSA is bringing in next week an independent expert to perform new airbag trials. Takata covertly refused to embark in the mandated national recall – instead saying that automakers should decide whether to act on the matter. It also added that it would face a more dire supply issue with the replacement parts.